For Volatile Times – Lessons From the World’s Classrooms

5833bc12180000290c30f5bbChildren are Listening. We live in a world of infinite connectivity, and following a “global” event such as the recent US Election 2016 (the world’s No. 1 economy), many parents and other adults say they are still struggling with what to say and share with children and what not to say. Children around the world witnessed the often aggressive tone of the election’s rhetoric, and indeed, teachers across the United States have acknowledged that many classrooms are still full of anxiety and concerns. In an age of widespread digital technologies, it is virtually impossible to entirely buffer children from the constant messaging. How should educators support children in uncertain times?

Our Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. They have founded schools, written curricula, and led classrooms in 13 different countries that stretch across every populated continent on earth. These teachers empower and enrich the lives of young people from nearly every background imaginable.

Today in The Global Search for Education, our Top Global Teacher Bloggers share their answers to this month’s question: How do you as teachers support children who are confused or frightened by events going on in their world?

“There has been much negative talk about Mexicans,” writes Elisa Guerra (@ElisaGuerraCruz) who teaches in Mexico. “Shouting insults back to those who insult us will not make much to dismiss the idea of the lazy, dishonest, even criminal Mexican. Instead, at our school, we have decided to celebrate and cherish our heritage by creating a collective book of “Gifts and Promises”. In writing and in art, students of all ages will showcase the people, the places and the achievements that built our country – the gifts.” Read More.

As classrooms around the world discuss the UK’s Brexit and Donald Trump’s election win, Richard Wells (@EduWells) in New Zealand is “mentoring an intensive entrepreneur startup weekend centered on new ideas for education. This is how Richard believes “classroom practice and school cultures could start to address much of the confusion children are currently expressing.” Read More.

Maarit Rossi (@pathstomath) recommends the blog of Kirsti Savikko, Headteacher in Kähäri School, Turku, Finland, who writes: “For bad things that happen in life, we have at school a sorrow box. It’s not a box of sorrow – it doesn’t contain items of sorrow. On the contrary it contains items to heal the sorrow. It has practical things like a white, clean tablecloth, candles, matches, an empty photo frame…… It also has poems, comforting words and stories…” Read More.

“This is our Atticus Finch moment, “ writes Todd Finley (@finleyt) in Greenville, North Carolina. “This calls for us to get into the muck and say uncomfortable truths. But there is a big payoff. When teachers model thoughtfulness, clarity, gentleness, generosity, empathy, and courage, their influence can lead others back from the brink.” Read More.

“I have seen the fears in student’s eyes when they roll into school asking what is going to happen and how will it impact them. Our job is to comfort, educate and support this as part of their learning journey,” says Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz) in Singapore. Teaching “tolerance and acceptance,” offering “hope and empowerment” and including “parents in the conversation” are some of Craig’s ideas for supporting confused or frightened children. Read More.

Adam Steiner (@steineredtech) recommends the blog of Brenda Maurao (@bmaurao), Assistant Principal for the Miller Elementary School in Holliston, MA, whose daughter woke up “devastated when she learned that Donald Trump was our new president.” Brenda told her daughter that “Trump ran for president because he wanted what was best for our country. While he wasn’t the one she wanted (she voted in a mock election in school the previous day), things were going to be ok.” Read More.

We need to be “providing ways for our youngsters to participate in this alternative view of the world,” writes Miriam Mason-Sesay (@EducAidSL). If you can show children examples of people “who are ‘helping’, others who are resisting the hatred and choosing love, those who are resisting prejudice and choosing respect, they have somewhere to go. It is our enormous responsibility to avoid joining in the hatred. We have to not only be a voice of reason but an example of difference.” Read More.

Pauline Hawkins (@PaulineDHawkins) in New Hampshire writes her message to students: “We have been given a wakeup call. There is no room for fear in our lives. Neither can we sit idly by and hope for the best. We have to let our representatives know what we want and what we will not accept. We have to investigate what our elected officials are actually doing with the trust we have put in them. We have to make our voices heard and back up our voices with action.” Read More.

“There are all types of children in a class,” notes Rashmi Kathuria (@rashkath), and “teachers play a significant role in the life of a child and creating an empathetic mind to deal with challenges all across the globe.” Rashmi recommends a number of different solutions, including “Individual attention by counselors, collaborative activities with partner schools and making a happiness tree that grows with gifts of appreciation and love.” Read More

“My school has a diverse and multicultural community which involves students speaking 28 different first languages,”  writes Warren Sparrow (@wsparrowsa).  “We are living in a time when we can expect to see many changes fundamentally in the things that we have always taken for granted.”  Teachers must create the environment where “we can talk to our students about their concerns and walk with them through the process until it is resolved.”  Read More.

“Morality. Kindness. Love. Service. Prayer. Faith. Hard work. Truth. Wisdom. Religious freedom. An unbiased press. Public servants. May these be things that become fashionable again,” writes Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) from Camilla, Georgia. “Have conversations with students that count… This is our watch and our time….” Read More.

“How are you feeling about what is going on in the world today?” is the first important question to ask your students, writes Nadia Lopez (@TheLopezEffect). “The children in our classrooms are the leaders of tomorrow, therefore we must give them voice, keep them informed, and remind them of their value in this world.”  Read More.

The Top Global Teacher Bloggers is a monthly series where educators across the globe offer experienced yet unique takes on today’s most important topics. CMRubinWorld utilizes the platform to propagate the voices of the most indispensable people of our learning institutions – teachers.

(Photo is courtesy of CMRubinWorld)

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Top Row, left to right: Adam Steiner, Santhi Karamcheti, Pauline Hawkins

2nd Row: Elisa Guerra, Humaira Bachal, C. M. Rubin, Todd Finley, Warren Sparrow

3rd Row: Nadia Lopez, Katherine Franco Cardernas, Craig Kemp, Rashmi Kathuria, Maarit Rossi

Bottom Row: Dana Narvaisa, Richard Wells, Vicki Davis, Miriam Mason-Sesay

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Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.

The Global Search for Education Community Page

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

This post was originally published by C; Rubin at http://www.cmrubinworld.com/the-global-search-for-education-top-global-teacher-bloggers-children-are-listening 

The Global Search for Education: Top Global Teacher Bloggers – How do we inspire the best and the brightest to become educators?

This article was posted originally in The Global Search for Education

by CM Rubin

2016-06-26-1466905169-1931934-cmrubinworld_TGTB_June500.jpgThe role of teachers is paramount to raising educational standards around the globe. In countries such as Finland, Singapore and South Korea, teachers are recruited from the most qualified graduates, are highly trained, respected and paid well. But that’s not the case in every country. According to Mckinsey’s “Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to Careers in Teaching”, in the United States for example, only 23 percent of new teachers come from the top third, and just 14 percent are in high poverty schools, where the difficulty of attracting and retaining talented teachers is particularly acute. If nations are serious about attracting the best talent to educate their children, they clearly need to improve the value proposition to potential candidates.

Our Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. They have founded schools, written curricula, and led classrooms in 13 different countries that stretch across every populated continent on earth. These teachers empower and enrich the lives of young people from nearly every background imaginable.

Today in The Global Search for Education, our Top Global Teacher Bloggers share their answers to this month’s question: How do we inspire the best and brightest to become educators?

The short answer to our question for Miriam Mason-Sesay (@EducAidSL) in Sierra Leone is to “engage young people in a new paradigm. If success is defined in terms of being human; if success is defined in terms of how many people have I had a positive impact on through my ways of being and dealing with them; if success is defined in terms of have I made the world a better place by the ways I treat others and live my life, then there is an excitement about being part of the only profession where we can truly change the life chances of hundreds of young people.” Read More.

Maarit Rossi (@pathstomath) offers crucial insight into the question, being from Finland–arguably the country with the best teachers in the world. She thinks it boils down to simple concepts like: “respect of the profession, flexibility of the curriculum, teachers’ high level of education and autonomy of teaching methods.” In Finland, there are no school inspectors nor national tests. Teachers themselves are trusted to observe and evaluate their students. “I make my own tests or make them together with a colleague. We don’t give much homework.” Read more.

“Within the most challenging schools there are educators whose love for what they do can be infectious because they see value of impacting the lives of children,” says Nadia Lopez (@TheLopezEffect) whose school is in one of New York’s low income neighborhoods where recruiting and keeping skilled teachers is very difficult. Check out Nadia’s top tips to attract the best and brightest to a career in education: Read more.

Adam Steiner’s blog (@steineredtech) is inspired by the award-winning book, Professional Capital (Authors Andy Hargreaves @HargreavesBC and Michael Fullan @MichaelFullan1). Professional Capital recognized that teaching cannot be scripted and emphasized collective responsibility and shared success as key to school success. Steiner notes that the lessons of Professional Capital identify “key factors in recruiting and retaining the best teachers”: Read more.

Pauline Hawkins (@PaulineDHawkins) asserts “American teachers are scapegoats for everything wrong with our society.” So how does Pauline suggest we bring respect to the profession? The first step in her multiple step process is “getting rid of the ridiculous evaluation system based on standardized tests and tied to teacher pay. Master teachers know that their true effectiveness cannot be measured by a test.” Read more.

“It starts with us! The people in education right now!” says Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz) who believes that part of the problem is the media tends to show the hardships of being an educator. Craig, who credits his Mum for his passion to teach, says educators must promote and share what they do in positive ways. “One comment can influence someone to become a teacher.” Read more.

Rashmi Kathuria (@rashkath) from India notes, “Teaching is not just a job from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. It is a time consuming job even after regular school hours.” When teachers go home they don’t usually get to relax; teachers prepare assignments, do corrections, and work at home preparing lesson plans. They also, “take up online self-professional development from home.” Rashmi recommends incentives for teachers who do extraordinary work such as “a subsidized internet connection to work from home and remain connected with students through their blogs/wikis/online classrooms.” Read more.

“There are no magic tricks” says Dana Narvaisa (@dana_narvaisa) from Latvia who shares experiences from her own journey. “If you’re a leader in your twenties or thirties, you’re looking for growth, you’re looking for mentors, for role models. To get the best and brightest to become educators, they need at least a few more like-minded people on their team for long term success.” Read More.

Money and common sense are key, notes Todd Finley (@finleyt) quoting Stanford Professor Linda Darling-Hammond: “Nearly all of the vacancies currently filled with emergency teachers could be filled with talented, well-prepared teachers if 40,000 service scholarships of up to $25,000 each were offered annually” to offset teacher education costs based on merit. Curriculum that’s too focused on standardized test scores is “soul killing” and evaluation by VAM Scores should immediately stop. “To attract teachers, we need the public will to support service scholarships, increase pay, stop over-testing, and terminate verifiably wrong-headed evaluation practices.” Read more.

Richard Wells (@EduWells) takes a different approach to the question. “I believe it makes for a more positive debate when people discuss the potential growth of current teachers, than that of asking: ‘how do we attract better people?” So how does New Zealand build the best and the brightest teachers? Read more.

Katherine Franco Cardenas (@ProfKaterineFra) of Colombia writes for The Global Search for Education in her native language of Spanish and believes that, “one way to inspire the best and brightest to become an educator lies in providing the opportunity for direct interaction with teachers making a difference in the context in which they operate.” It’s important for teachers to meet inspiring educators to serve as a role model for how an educator can make a positive effect on their communities. Read More.

The Top Global Teacher Bloggers is a monthly series where educators across the globe offer experienced yet unique takes on today’s most important topics. CMRubinWorld utilizes the platform to propagate the voices of the most indispensable people of our learning institutions, teachers.

For more information.

2016-06-26-1466905191-2913254-cmrubinworldtopglobalteacherbloggers_headshots5001.jpgTop Row, left to right: Adam Steiner, Santhi Karamcheti, Pauline Hawkins2nd Row: Elisa Guerra, Humaira Bachal, C. M. Rubin, Todd Finley,
Warren Sparrow
3rd Row: Nadia Lopez, Katherine Franco Cardernas, Craig Kemp,
Rashmi Kathuria, Maarit Rossi
Bottom Row: Dana Narvaisa, Richard Wells, Vicki Davis, Miriam Mason-Sesay 

(All photos are courtesy of CMRubinWorld)

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C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

The Global Search for Education: Top Global Teacher Bloggers – What are the best examples you have seen of teachers closing the gender gap in education?

The Global Search for Education: Top Global Teacher Bloggers – What are the best examples you have seen of teachers closing the gender gap in education?

by CM Rubin

This post appeared originally in Huffington Post

The OECD’s PISA report, The ABC of Gender Equality in Education, featured in The Global Search for Education: Education and Gender, illustrated that the gender gap cuts both ways – boys’ and girls’ attitudes to learning, their behavior in school and their self-confidence impacted their abilities as students.

Today in The Global Search for Education, our Top Global Teacher Bloggers will share their answer to this question: “What are the best examples you have seen of teachers closing the gender gap in education?”

The question stirred up some controversy among our experts. The topic itself is significant because the global gender gap across health, education, economic opportunity and politics has closed by only 4% in the past 10 years, with the economic gap closing by just 3%. On the current path we are on, it may take another 118 years to close the gap completely. The question is controversial because in many countries—in particular English-speaking, developed countries—it is actually young boys who are falling behind in education.

Our Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. They have founded schools, written curricula, and led classrooms in 13 different countries that stretch across every populated continent on earth. These teachers empower and enrich the lives of young people from nearly every background imaginable.

In her blog post, Elisa Guerra (@ElisaGuerraCruz) highlights the real difficultly of solving the problem: “Even good teachers are frequently caught upon stereotypes. Closing the gender gap in education requires serious, conscious effort.” Teachers are important role models in the lives of young people. If teachers are not aware of gender typecasts, they can just as easily reinforce the status quo as they can weaken it. Therefore, it’s of crucial importance to “provide positive role models of women in the sciences and men in the humanities, both in history and today…” so that students do not feel that they are socially obligated to fit in any particular gender role. Read More.

This idea is echoed by Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher). She notes that, “…it is often an observant teacher coupled with an open minded parent that makes a huge difference in the path girls choose. It isn’t about forcing her down a path, but letting her see as many options as possible that makes the difference in the end.” Read More.

Miriam Mason-Sesay (@MiriamMasonSesa) teaches in Sierra Leone where the gender gap is very serious. Young women are rarely brought up in a way that engenders hope regarding their academic prospects. It’s essential to challenge social forces that make girls feel like they are not strong, intelligent and capable members of society. “The idea is to catch them young and to teach them their value and make sure that the negative messages never get a chance to take hold.” Read More.

Rashmi Kathuria (@rashkath), who teaches in India, feels similarly. It’s essential to provide real opportunities for women to prove to others and to themselves their true potential. That’s why she strongly encourages women to participate in programs like inter-school math competitions. “Promoting gender equity in the classroom involves not only providing equal resources to both girls and boys but also providing equal opportunities to learn.” Read More.

Maarit Rossi (@pathstomath) from Finland asserts that the way to close the gender gap is to have students participate in activities across gender lines. “It is important that the schools deliberately mix the genders in the classrooms, train students to work in diverse groups and so support the growth of equality and understanding.” Students at certain ages are often most comfortable being in groups that are divided by gender. Allowing for these divisions can be damaging. Young people might grow to believe in narrow gender roles because they don’t yet understand the deep similarities in capacities that humans share regardless of gender. Read More.

Nadia Lopez (@TheLopezEffect) emphasizes what works at Mott Hall Bridges Academy, the school she founded. In order to close the gender divide in science, girls should be actively engaged in the magic of science. This not only includes participation in traditional lab experiments but also exposure to the many practical applications of science, including horticulture and animal science. “When opportunities are created for our girls to explore the world of science around them and encourage teachers to be creative in their practices, we then have the power to eliminate the gaps that exist between genders.”  Read More.

In his blog post, Warren Sparrow (@wsparrowsa) brings to light a very different problem: young boys are falling behind in many countries. “A strange phenomenon in South Africa is that there are more boys than girls in primary school, but this gets reversed in high school and tertiary institutions. Where do all the boys go?” This question is one shared across many English-speaking countries: Why is it that boys seem to be falling behind in education?  Read More.

Adam Steiner (@steineredtech) recommends the blog post of social studies teacher Jay Barry, who notes the trend that “many boys stop reading for pleasure in middle school and those that are reading often choose books that do not challenge them as readers.” He believes that a disturbing cultural trend is developing across America where men are not taught the value of education. They are not encouraged to be thoughtful or scholarly because it’s not “cool” or “tough”. This growing cultural trend is detrimental to the educational opportunities of young boys. Read More.

Pauline Hawkins (@PaulineDHawkins) pushes this line of thought even further. “In general, female students are able to sit for longer periods of time without breaks; they are less likely to interrupt teachers in a classroom; and they read more than males do. In other words, the current classroom is catering to female students and punishing male students.” She believes that testing culture and the traditional styles of learning where children sit silently and listen across the room is more favorable to girls. Read More.

Richard Wells (@EduWells) suggests that this can be remedied by “flipped teaching or project-based learning. This is connected to boys needing to be doing rather receiving. Most boys need to be active learners”. By engaging boys rather than lecturing them might help reverse the trend of male underachievement. Read More.

Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz) says one of the reasons he got into education was “to change the typical stereotypes around boys in education.” He believes boys in his school system need “a positive male role model in their life” and “need to be engaged in a variety of ways”. This month, Craig shares 5 ways to engage boys in classrooms to help close the gender gap.  Read More.

The Top Global Teacher Bloggers is a monthly series where educators across the globe offer experienced yet unique takes on today’s most important topics. CMRubinWorld utilizes the platform to propagate the voices of the most indispensable people of our learning institutions, teachers.

For more information.

2016-03-23-1458734915-2149870-cmrubinworldtopglobalteacherbloggers_headshots500.jpg

Top Row, left to right: Adam Steiner, Santhi Karamcheti, Pauline Hawkins

2nd Row: Elisa Guerra, Humaira Bachal, C. M. Rubin, Todd Finley,
Warren Sparrow

3rd Row: Nadia Lopez, Katherine Franco Cardernas, Craig Kemp,
Rashmi Kathuria, Maarit Rossi

Bottom Row: Dana Narvaisa, Richard Wells, Vicki Davis, Miriam Mason-Sesay

(All photos are courtesy of CMRubinWorld)

Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
The Global Search for Education Community Page

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.